Vitiligo is a commonly-diagnosed skin condition, which is characterized by patches of white skin (loss of skin pigment). Ginkgo biloba is widely-known for its beneficial properties with regard to general health; however, emerging evidence is also finding that this extract is extremely powerful in stopping the spread of vitiligo and aiding re-pigmentation.
In this article, we’ll give a brief overview of the current literature on the topic.
Ginkgo biloba, a promising treatment for vitiligo vulgaris
A 2008 study reported in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Dermatology investigated a multitude of therapies for vitiligo, including photosensitizing agents, traditional Chinese medicine products, plant extracts and vitamins. Of these, oral gingko biloba supplements and L-phenylalanine in conjunction with phototherapy demonstrated the strongest re-pigmenting effects. Similarly, in a review paper written by researchers from the The University of Nottingham, it was reported that ginkgo biloba was found to always exert at least some re-pigmenting effects in vitiligo patients.
Ginkgo extract stops the spread of vitiligo in all patients
According to an open label clinical pilot trial, developed at the University of Toronto, ginkgo biloba is extremely effective at stopping the spread of vitiligo and initiating re-pigmentation. The pilot trial was undertaken on 12 participants, aged between 12 and 35 years old; they received twice-daily doses of 60mg ginkgo biloba in standardized form for a period of 12 weeks. The progression of vitiligo stopped in all participants, and on average they noticed a 15% re-pigmentation rate. No adverse reactions or side-effects were reported.
Asian research corroborates ginkgo’s potent re-pigmenting effect
As a research article published in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research has pointed out, the standardized extract of ginkgo biloba represents an excellent treatment option for patients diagnosed with vitiligo. The study involved the administration of ginkgo biloba capsules, for a period of 8 weeks. The vitiligo lesions improved and the serum interleukins decreased significantly, indicating a healing effect of the melanocytes (pigment-producing cells). The researchers concluded the ginkgo biloba had both a pigment-restoring and an antioxidant effect.
Oral ginkgo biloba for limited & slow-spreading vitiligo
Similarly, a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology demonstrated that ginkgo biloba, administered orally, is a simple, safe and effective alternative to other vitiligo treatments. The authors of the study concluded that this natural remedy can be used not only to stop the progression of the disease but also to facilitate repigmentation. Their research was based on the fact that gingko biloba, as a natural remedy, has both antioxidant and immune-modulatory properties. The dose used in this study was 40mg three times daily.
Ginkgo biloba – better and safer than topical creams and corticosteroids
The hypopigmentation disorder can be efficiently treated with ginkgo biloba, as it has been shown in a study published in the International Journal of Chemical and Physical Sciences. The study reviewed several treatment methods for vitiligo patches, including topical creams, oral medication, phototherapy, corticosteroids and topical vitamin D3. It was concluded that ginkgo biloba is both safe and effective as treatment for vitiligo patches, facilitating a higher repigmentation rate than other options.
Although all studies were fairly small (involving 50 or less patients), all of them reported the same effects: that ginkgo biloba stops the spread of vitiligo in all patients and achieves significant re-pigmentation rates. Ginkgo biloba was also identified as the most effective option out of all the ones studies. Moreover, no side effects were reported in any of the patients. The recommended dose is 120mg daily, split either in two (60mg x2 ) or three (40mg x 3) doses.